These are strong words. Continues another player: 'I don't know why the bcci can't see straight. Here's a captain who talks to no one, whom no player wants to talk to except out of fear that his slot might be meddled with. He can't have a decent conversation with anybody. In the current lot of players only the likes of V.V.S Laxman and Hrishikesh Kanitkar hang around with him, and that's for obvious reasons. His approach is all wrong.' A few former Indian players' reticence about Azhar's captaincy disappeared after the loss to Zimbabwe. Says a former Test player, after rumours flew thick and fast about Azhar's reported resignation on May 20 - the day after the Zimbabwe match, 'Yeah. What took him so long? He's about seven years too late.'
Of course, a whole bunch of wise men crop up after a loss. Some with many amusing theories. So disappointed was espn commentator Harsha Bhogle after the Indian loss that he started bouncing his 'brown-man-cannot-be-a-team-man' theory off anybody caring to lend an ear. Before the start of the match, when news of Sachin Tendulkar's departure for Mumbai to attend his father's funeral dominated the proceedings, some former players had their own insights on the subject. Says Geoffrey Boycott: 'When my father died, I stuck on to score 70-odd at the Oval.' Added Colin Croft, former Windies pacer: 'The dead are dead but the living have to go on.' But, said Navjot Singh Sidhu, former Indian opening bat: 'A match is just a match, this is a situation where, by not going, Sachin could have been traumatised for the rest of his life. I get tears in my eyes even now when I talk about my father. We are a different culture. He's what he is because of his father.'